Choice of Fluids in Critically Ill Patients

Claude Martin; Andrea Cortegiani; Cesare Gregoretti; Ignacio Martin-Loeches; Carole Ichai; Marc Leone; Gernot Marx; Sharon Einav


BMC Anesthesiol. 2018;18(200) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Fluids are by far the most commonly administered intravenous treatment in patient care. During critical illness, fluids are widely administered to maintain or increase cardiac output, thereby relieving overt tissue hypoperfusion and hypoxia.

Main text: Until recently, because of their excellent safety profile, fluids were not considered "medications". However, it is now understood that intravenous fluid should be viewed as drugs. They affect the cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal and immune systems. Fluid administration should therefore always be accompanied by careful consideration of the risk/benefit ratio, not only of the additional volume being administered but also of the effect of its composition on the physiology of the patient. Apart from the need to constantly assess fluid responsiveness, it is also important to periodically reconsider the type of fluid being administered and the evidence regarding the relationship between specific disease states and different fluid solutions.

Conclusions: The current review presents the state of the art regarding fluid solutions and presents the existing evidence on routine fluid management of critically ill patients in specific clinical settings (sepsis, Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, major abdominal surgery, acute kidney injury and trauma).